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Exclusive: Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba issues warning for Jojo Siwa after shock result

'We aren’t a professional dance competition giving people a dance contract,' said Carrie

carrie jojo
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
November 8, 2021
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Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba has called on celebrity hopeful Jojo Siwa to "put down her walls" if she wants to make it to the final.

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The 18-year-old YouTube personality has been a frontrunner since week one, but left the judges and her fellow contestants in shock when she placed in the bottom two last week.

WATCH: Dancing With The Stars: Jojo Siwa lands in bottom two

"Jojo needs to make sure that people can see an evolution, they want to see the growth on this journey," Carrie told HELLO!

"We aren’t a professional dance competition giving people a dance contract. Dancing with the Stars is a special place because it’s about people going outside their comfort zone to try something new. This is the heart of the show. You have to put down your walls and let us in."

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Carrie continued: "The audience wants to get to know you so they can root for you. You have to capture the hearts of America. Because the judges' scores are only part of what gets you through."

Season-long favorite JoJo and her professional dance partner Jenna Johnson ended up in the bottom two and the judges and host Tyra Banks were equally as surprised to see them in that position as all of them unanimously voted to save the duo.

carrie ann judge

Carrie is a judge on the hit dancing show

Even eliminated contestant Mike "The Miz" Mizanin had visibly resigned himself to his fate despite the judges' praise for him after the bottom two was revealed.

"The level of talent of Season 30's cast is exceptional," Carrie added.

"I hope everyone knows how hard each and every couple is working this year."

As for who has surprised Carrie, the 53-year-old admitted country star Jimmie Allen, Olivia Jade, and basketball player Iman Shumpert have all been wildcards she never expected.

jojo siwa jenna johnson week seven

Jojo found herself in the bottom two

"Olivia has a natural grace and refinement in her dancing that is matched by her often unnoticed strength and athleticism, and that all shows up on the ballroom floor in her incredible performances," said Carrie.

"Jimmie surprised me with his ability to express his heart through his movements with such grace. He’s very connected to each dance in a way that makes the movements have more meaning," she continued, adding: "Iman continues to surprise me with his unique style of authentic, artistic athleticism.

"I saw that he had his own special style and was impressed. He has a way of being fully in the dance and character but also relaxing into the choreography which means he has rehearsed it well and knows it. His kinesthetic awareness is unmatched."

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